KOTA KINABALU - Villagers along the Moyog River here are baffled over the deaths of fish and prawns in the river recently.
The discovery of the dead fish on April 9 is raising suspicion that some sort of poisoning had occurred. They also claimed that following the poisoning, a crocodile had left the river but was caught on the river bank.
"We want to identify the source of the poisoning soon and put a stop to it," said Community-Led Environmental Awareness for Our River (CLEAR) chairman Winnie Jimis.
She said village heads from Mahandoi and Terawi and the chair of the Terawi Tagal Zone lodged a report with the authorities following the disturbing discovery.
A preliminary test by teams from the Sabah Fisheries Department, federal Department of Environment (DOE) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) found the water quality to be very poor, she added.
Villagers have been advised not to consume the dead fish. Villagers believe that the Moyog River fell victim to those who poisoned it to gather fish in large quantities.
CLEAR, the Terawi Tagal Zone and villagers are spearheading a programme to revitalise Moyog River, hoping that it would not only continue to provide a source of protein to villagers, but would also become a tourist attraction through activities such as bamboo rafting.
She said the area poisoned near Kampung Kuai-Kandazon, Mahandoi and Terawi was part of the Tagal system (a system to close part of a river for a certain period to allow for fish to spawn and to protect the environment).